MIAMI — While the Miami Marlins arrived back in South Florida for the final homestand of the 2014 season, ace Jose Fernandez flew out to Los Angeles hoping for good news from Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Fernandez, who underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16, was scheduled to visit ElAttrache for clearance to start a throwing program Oct. 1. He last pitched May 9 in San Diego before discomfort in his left elbow shut down his season after just eight starts.
The 22-year-old has expressed his desire to be back July 17, 2015, in Philadelphia for the first start after the All-Star break. Recovery from the procedure ranges from 12 to 18 months.
"Time wise he’s right on schedule," manager Mike Redmond said. "It’s too tough to put a timeline on it right now. This is really another step in getting him back on the field. I haven’t talked to him, but I’m sure he’s anxiously awaiting this clearance so he can start playing catch and really the first step in getting him back on the field."
ON THE MEND
After a 10-game trip, right-handed reliever A.J. Ramos got to his apartment around 5 a.m. and was awoken a few hours later by a knock on his bedroom door.
Teammate and roommate, Giancarlo Stanton, wanted to say hello before going for an appointment to check on his progress from multiple facial fractures, dental damage and stitches for a facial laceration.
Stanton, who was hit by an 88 mph fastball from Milwaukee Brewers righty Mike Fiers last Thursday, hadn’t seen any of his teammates since the incident. He was immediately taken by an ambulance to a local hospital and then flown back to Miami for further evaluation.
"He was able to talk fine," Ramos said. " ‘Hey, man. Wake up.’ I was like, ‘What’s up, dawg?’ ‘How you doing man?’ Pretty much had a little conversation before he had to leave."
Ramos said Stanton’s father has been staying at their apartment taking care of him. The slugger’s appetite has since approved, though it remains a bit hard to chew.
"It was still a little swollen," Ramos said of Stanton’s face. "When he was talking it was a little swollen in the (cheek) area, but it wasn’t as bad as the picture. You could tell all the swelling went down. It’s progression."
Though the pair had been keeping in touch over texts, it was different getting to see him again in person. Stanton is likely to visit his teammates at Marlins Park either Thursday or Friday.
Third baseman Casey McGehee said Stanton has been watching the games, but when his teammates have spoken to him it’s been more about his health.
"We’ve tried as a group to all stay in touch with him, make him as much a part of what’s going on as we can," McGehee said. "The main thing is checking on him. His health is improving, his spirits seem to be good. Hopefully he’s feeling up to getting up and about and see him before this homestand’s over."
The Marlins did not take batting practice prior to Thursday’s game against the Washington Nationals after arriving back in Miami late.